Tag: twomorrows publishing

With Further Ado #281: Evangeline and Back Issue Magazine

With Further Ado #281: Evangeline and Back Issue Magazine

Back Issue Magazine #149 focuses on “80s Indie Heroes”. There’s a wonderful interview with Don Simpson focusing on Megaton Man (and more), Jarrod Buttery has a fantastic article on an old favorite, Aztec Ace, and there’s so much from outstanding creators like Steven Grant, Doug Moench, Chris Warner -and more.

For this issue, I contributed an article on Evangeline. It was a fascinating 80s series about, in essence, a nun with a gun. It was engaging, fresh, and then it was gone. Here’s an excerpt from my article: Continue reading “With Further Ado #281: Evangeline and Back Issue Magazine”

New Number Ones: New Comics Releasing the Week of September 27, 2023

New Number Ones: New Comics Releasing the Week of September 27, 2023

Welcome to the New Number Ones!

Each week we bring you the list of new series and special editions coming this week. We are highlighting what you need to put in your cart at the comic shop or digital marketplace.

We have an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this month. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

We have books on the list from: DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, TwoMorrows Publishing, Abrams ComicArt, Vault Comics, and Boom! Studios.

One thing to remember, we continue to measure the “comic week” as Wednesday. #NCBD is Wednesday.

We will bring you reviews of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

New Series
New One-Shots and Special Editions


New Series This Week 


The Flash #1
DC Comics
Written by Si Spurrier
Art by Mike Deodato Jr. & Trish Mulvihill
Cover Art by Deodato Jr. & Mulvihill

WALLY WEST RACES TOWARDS THE FUTURE WITH A NEW ALL-STAR CREATIVE TEAM!

Wally West has never been quicker, more fulfilled, more heroic. His loving family is around him. And yet something is off. Very off. His evolving understanding of his powers has opened Wally to new avenues of sci-fi adventure and attuned his senses to strange new ideas. Something whispers from the dark vibrations beyond the Speed Force, and as Wally experiments with creative new approaches to his powers he encounters new realms, mysterious allies, and mind-shattering terrors. A new era for the Scarlet Speedster begins now from the team of Si Spurrier and Mike Deodato Jr.

Release Date: September 26, 2023

PCS NOTES: We are looking forward to this new direction and take on The Flash!


Power Girl #1
DC Comics
Written by Leah Williams
Art by Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, & Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Cover Art by Gary Frank & Brad Anderson

POWER GIRL STARS IN HER OWN EPIC ONGOING SERIES!

Pretty, punchy, and powerful! After the events of Knight Terrors, a long-dormant Kryptonian threat has returned to take down Superman and his family. Who could possibly stop it? Well, according to the Man of Steel, it’s Power Girl! Witness a road trip race against time as Paige reconnects with her roots to save the world from her deadly past. Power Girl Special writer Leah Williams returns with artist Eduardo Pansica for an ongoing series of epic proportions!

Release Date: September 26, 2023

PCS NOTES: Leah Williams has proven that they are the person to write Power Girl and we are hear for it. It has been too long since PG has had a staring role. Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Releasing the Week of September 27, 2023”

Rapid Con Review: HeroesCon 2023 Edition

Rapid Con Review: HeroesCon 2023 Edition

Heroes Convention, shortened to HeroesCon, and affectionately alluded to as simply “Heroes”, was put on this past weekend at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC. The show was a rousing success, as usual, thanks to the fine stewardship of the convention by Shelton Drum of Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find and the amazing talents of Karla Southern.

This show puts the “comic” back in Comic Con. There was a tremendous group of comic book creator talent on the show floor from all different levels of the industry. Also, there were back issue comic vendors as far as the eye could see. Some folks dealt in high end collectable editions while others had boxes upon boxes of $1 comics. The variety of the wares they were hawking served to have something for everyone.

One of the interesting parts about this year’s show was that there was a bit more to browse and shop for things other than comic books or comic book art. I really don’t know how they did it, but somehow they were able to fit in even more creators and still have so many comic dealers and yet add vendors of hand-made crafts, props, toys, and other geeky items.

Auctions and more Auctions..

A view of the Grand Ballroom at the Westin Charlotte as the auction was about to start.

One of the signature things of HeroesCon is the art auctions. There are several auctions throughout the weekend, but the Saturday night event was the jewel of the show. It was a fun and exciting atmosphere as one of kind pieces were up for bids. All the while, everyone was waiting for that one piece by Brian Stelfreeze that had everyone buzzing.

Great Panel Programming

Rich Fowlks, Michael Eury, and Ed Catto discussing The Team-Up Companion

The programming at HeroesCon this year was very interesting. We took in three discussion panels over the weekend. Two of them were related to TwoMorrows publications, including one hosted by PCS’s own Ed Catto. For the third one, we had a chance to sit in the room while Mike Grell educated listeners about the origins and behind the scenes stories of Jon Sable, Freelance.

Andy Kunka, Mike Grell, and Jeff Messer at the Jon Sable panel.

The panels that we didn’t go to also looked incredibly interesting and we heard great things particularly about the Comics Aloud! panel hosted by David Petersen of Mouse Guard fame that featured dramatic readings by comic creators of excerpt of stories with the characters they’ve written and drawn. It was a terrific lineup of diverse and interesting programing to break up the days and give your feet a rest.

Cosplay Too…

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing cosplay that we saw at the show. While other shows may have more quantity and more elaborate cosplay contingents, Heroes had a great mix of enthusiastic people enjoying letting their geek flag fly. You can check out some of the cosplayers that we ran across below.

  • Storm Trooper Cosplay @ HeroesCon 2023
  • Apocalypse Cosplay @ HeroesCon 2023
  • Star Wars Cosplay @ HeroesCon 2023
  • Supergirl Cosplay @ HeroesCon 2023
  • Hope Summers Cosplay @ HeroesCon 2023
  • Optimus Prime Cosplay @ HeroesCon 2023
  • Illyana & Kitty Cosplay @ HeroesCon 2023
  • Dr. Mid-Nite & Dr. Fate Cosplay @ HeroesCon 2023

Hey, Don’t Forget It is June..

The fact that this convention takes place smack dab in the middle of June creates a magical trifecta of real world celebrations that make this a great place to spend a weekend. Father’s Day typically falls on Sunday of HeroesCon as it did this year, which makes it a great place to pick up that last minute gift for a nerdy Dad. Juneteenth weekend was also the same weekend of the Con, and that made taking Monday off  to recuperate an easier decision.

It is also Pride Month and there was a ton of things (books, toys, prints, other chachkas) that were available for anyone interested in that kind of merch. On Saturday, the publisher A Wave Blue World organized a group signing to celebrate the new retail printing of The Color of Always and the GLAAD Award winning Young Men in Love. From our experience, this felt like a very inclusive show.

Final Thoughts

We had a fantastic time at this show and are looking forward to going back next year. If you are fan of Comic Books, Comic Book Creators, or people who love Comic Books, this is the place to be.

With Further Ado #249: Collab or Team-Up?

With Further Ado #249: Collab or Team-Up?

Collabs. All the cool kids in the business world, from tech start-up founders to crafter brewers, know all about “collabs”. (It took me a while to realize it’s short for “collaborations”.) These collabs are all about two companies (or individuals) partnering for a project, in order that they create something unique and memorable. Something that probably wouldn’t happen if each party had just worked on their own.

But comic people and geek culture know what these collabs really are.

They are Team-Ups!

I think my first “Team-Up” was issue #70 of The Brave and the Bold. This was the January 1967 issue; so, it was on sale during the height of the Batman ‘66 craze. There was one problem: it didn’t look like a pleasant collaboration to me. Two heroes, Batman and Hawkman (who was new to me back then) were beating the stuffing out of one another. In the background, a crashed Batmobile was still smoking. This was presumably the result of the Caped Crusader’s and the Winged Wonder’s fight. These two crimefighters were even pulling at each other’s masks, which must have been in direct conflict with some unwritten superhero code. Continue reading “With Further Ado #249: Collab or Team-Up?”

With Further Ado  #238: Red, White, and Nostalgic

With Further Ado #238: Red, White, and Nostalgic

When Jack Kirby returned to Marvel Comics in the mid-70s, it was a big deal. Marvel Comics told me, and my friends, it was a big deal, and our local comic shop owner, Kim Draheim, told us too.

And it’s almost pop-culture heresy to write this, but at that time – we just didn’t get Kirby.

Black Panther, with the Golden Frog and all that, was a nutty book and nothing like the Don McGregor Panther series we had so thoroughly enjoyed.

The Eternals was kind of fun, but it seemed so set apart from the rest of the Marvel Universe. And when one hero finally showed up, the Hulk, it was a just robot. What a rip-off!

Devil Dinosaur and Moonboy kind of turned into a punchline in our comic shop too.

• Most disappointing was Captain America. For years were riding along with Steve Englehart, exploring big ideas about patriotism and forgotten corners of the Marvel Universe. Sal Buscema’s Sharon Carter was the very best super-hero girlfriend at that time, and we grew to love her too. And the Nomad saga, despite swapping artists at the end, was the first (and still the best) of many super-hero identity fake outs.

At first, when Kirby burst back onto the Marvel scene, especially with the Madbomb issues in Captain America, we were intrigued. It made sense that Jack Kirby should get another crack at the character he co-created (with Joe Simon) all those years ago.

But oh, so quickly, we lost interest. Why did Cap all of a sudden talk like my grandfather? Who was this new female lead, revolutionary Donna Maria Puentes, anyway? Where was Sharon? And although I’ve come to really enjoy it, Kirby’s bombastic art – at that time – just wasn’t doing it for me. My friends and I weren’t mature enough to get it. “Why couldn’t he draw more like Neal Adams?”, we wondered. Continue reading “With Further Ado #238: Red, White, and Nostalgic”

With Further Ado #192: A Fantastic Mystery

With Further Ado #192: A Fantastic Mystery

Two different pals recently recommended two different books to me. I ended up really enjoying both recommendations and strangely, reading them both at the same time made the experience all the better.

Professor Laurence Maslon recommended Fantastic Four No. 1 Panel by Panel to me, and I’m glad he did.  The Professor is not only a Broadway expert (check out his recent NYTimes story here) but a comic expert too. You may have enjoyed his Superheroes! A Never-Ending Battle Documentary, which ran on PBS a few years ago.

This is an engaging coffee table book, celebrating the first issue The Fantastic Four and the birth, in many ways, of Marvel Comics.

As you could infer from the title, this book showcases each individual panel of the 1961 comic. But Chip Kidd, one of my favorites, and Geoff Spear, add in a little zing to it all.  No panel is pristine. Each one is a little off kilter. Some in the cropping, some in the colors, some in other ways. Kind of just like the original comic was first presented, and read, all those years ago.

Several smart comic folks, including Mark Evanier, provide additional thoughts and focus on this important comic. It’s an enjoyable package. Continue reading “With Further Ado #192: A Fantastic Mystery”

With Further Ado #123: Holiday Gift Guide 2020

With Further Ado #123: Holiday Gift Guide 2020

It’s been rough year for most of us, but in Geek Culture there’s been plenty of bright spots. In the spirit of trumpeting some of the good stuff, here’s my Annual Holiday Gift Guide.


HOLLY JOLLY: CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS PAST IN POP CULTURE
Written by Mark Voger
TwoMorrows Publishing

Every year, I make room on my nightstand for The Battle For Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum. For me, it’s the “alpha book”  in analyzing and explaining our Christmas traditions that have shaped the way we celebrate the holiday.

But this December, I think I will have to make room on that night stand for TwoMorrows Publishing’s newest book. Holly Jolly by Mark Voger looks to be the definitive pop-culture counterpart to Nissenbaum’s tome.  I always enjoy Mark Voger’s writing, and I just loved his Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture (also published by TwoMorrows) a few years back.

“I can’t think of a single topic that has generated more art and culture,” says author Mark Voger of why he decided to do a Christmas book. “From music to movies, TV, cartoons, food and decor, everybody seems to have a favorite Christmas ‘something’ — a delicacy or a song or an animated special. I tried to cram everything in Holly Jolly.”

$43.95 192 pp. • Hardcover, Full Color  • ISBN: 1605490970

Available everywhere books are sold, and from the publisher TwoMorrows.


THE FANTASTIC PAINTINGS OF FRAZETTA
by J. David Spurlock 
Vanguard Publishing

Despite the calamitous nature of 2020, my wife and I were able to visit the Frank Frazetta Museum last summer. It was a wonderful trip, and I am still in awe of all the amazing paintings there.  Reading this oversized coffee table book is like a V.I.P. guided tour in that museum.  Spurlock provides just enough background and reference so that anyone can appreciate Frazetta’s talent and creativity. In fact, I wrote about this book earlier this year, and you can read that here.

My Highest Recommendation

$39.95 120 pp. • paperback  • ISBN-10: 1934331813

Available at bookstores, comic shops, the Frazetta Museum, and directly from Vanguard, the publisher.


FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES

CAT & CAT: GIRL MEETS CAT
by Christoph Cazenove, Herve Richez & Yrgane Ramon
Papercutz

Yrgane Ramon sure can draw funny cats. But the thing I like most about this artist’s work is the panels she creates. While eschewing the traditional panel grid/border, Ramon still creates a sense of storytelling urgency.

There’s a lovely element where the heroine, Cat, is from a strong single parent family. It’s not a hit-you-over-the-head type of thing, but just another sweet element of a very sweet book.

$9.99 96 pp. • Paperback  • ISBN-10 : 1545804281

Available at bookstores. comic shops and directly from the publisher, Papercutz.


ATTACK OF THE STUFF
by Jim Benton
Papercutz

If you gift this book to a fourth grader, you’ll be thrilled by how much they laugh out loud and how cool they think you are. But if you read this book with your spouse, as I did, you’ll also be laughing out loud. And maybe you’ll be thinking, “I shouldn’t have given that book away as a gift – I should’a kept it!”

The main character has a gift to hear the thoughts of all inanimate objects. The only problem is – everything whines. It’s a hilarious concept and I can’t wait for the next book in this series.  Publisher Jim Salicrup shepherds so many brilliant books, that it shouldn’t be a surprise what a winner Attack of the Stuff is. But it is a winner and that’s a wonderful surprise.

Caution: Don’t drink milk while reading this because you’ll snort it out your nose from laughing so much.

$9.99 96 pp. • Paperback  • ISBN-10 : 1545804990

Available at bookstores. comic shops and directly from the publisher, Papercutz.


EDISON BEAKER, CREATURE SEEKER: THE NIGHT DOOR
by Frank Cammuso
Viking, an imprint of Random House

What’s fun, and goofy and feels like that exact time of day when school lets out? That’s easy! The answer is any book by Frank Cammuso. His latest Edison Beaker adventure is no exception. This is an engaging one to read or to gift!

$16.99 120 pp. • Hardcover  • ISBN-10: 1949028445

Available at books stores & comic shops everywhere and online

 


GILLBERT VOLUME 3: THE FLAMING CARATS EVOLUTION
By Art Baltazar
Papercutz

Many folks think that a creator like Art Baltazar can do no wrong. I’m one of those guys!  Once again, Art takes readers on a journey of fun and silliness, peppered with a hefty dose of natural, wide-eyed fun and awe.  A wonderful read for all ages!

$14.99 80 pp. • hardcover & paperback  • ISBN 978-1-5458-0488-9 (hc)

Available at comic shops, fine bookstores and directly from Papercutz.


COLLECTED COMICS

UNDONE BY BLOOD or SHADOW OF A WANTED MAN
by Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson and Sami Kivelä
AfterShock Comics

I like this book so much that I assigned it as homework in one of my classes. An unconventional western with more than one twists to shake up the genre and keep every reader on her or his toes.  This clever story is brought to life with strong art from Kivelä.

$15.99 160 pp. • Paperback  • ISBN-10: 0425291936

Available at bookstores & comic shops everywhere and online here.


BILLIONAIRE ISLAND
by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh
Ahoy Comics

Last week I skimmed an article in the New York Times about how billionaires have made so many Trillion (with a “T”) dollars more during the pandemic. It was, I will admit, a little debilitating.

But this hilarious series from Ahoy Comics helped me laugh away any depressing thoughts.  Satirist Mark Russell sets his sights on the ultra-wealthy in this recent series, just collected as a trade paperback.  It’s hard to imagine that he wrote it all before the recent headlines.  Steve Pugh, a longtime favorite (I still miss his detective-exorcist series, Alice Hotwire) delivers a gorgeous story, all the while making it look so easy.

<This is the kind of book that a guy like fellow columnist Mike Gold would love.>

$16.99 144 pp. • paperback  • ISBN-10: 1952090024

Available at comic shops and fine bookstores everywhere and at the online store of NYC’s Midtown Comics.  


THE MAN WHO F#%&ED UP TIME
by John Layman and Karl Mostert
Aftershock Comics

I like time travel stories, and I bet you do too. In fact, in my comic collection I have a box devoted to time travel comics.  You know, stuff like Aztec Ace, Rip Hunter, Chronos, Timespirits and Chrononauts. This new series from Aftershock, The Man Who Fu#%&ed Time, fits right in. It’s funny, irreverent and thoughtful. But not so thoughtful that your head hurts. This one moves along at a brisk pace and the reader almost wishes it unfolded more slowly. Ah well, tempus fugit, as they say.

$15.99 160 pp. • Paperback  • ISBN-10: 1949028453

Available at bookstores & all the best comic shops.


GET SMART

CITY OF PLEASURE
By Alexandre Dupouy
Korero Press

You know how you think that your parents’ or grandparents’ generation was all prim and proper, and that you, and your friends, were the first to discover how much fun it is to be bad? Well, a book like this one will quickly cure you of that naïve hubris.

Dupouy’s book celebrates Paris during the time of madness, between the wars, and the new lifestyles embraced, all with a lust for excess.  This book definitely puts the growl back in to the roaring twenties.

$30.39 176 pp. • hardcover  • ISBN 1912740052

 Available at comic shops, fine bookstores and directly from Korero.


THE CONSCIOUS MARKETER : Inspiring a Deeper and More Conscious Brand Experience
By Jim Joseph
Mascot Books

If you can’t get enough of marketing expert Jim Joseph through his daily blog, I’d heartily suggest you give his latest marketing book a try. It’s insightful, brisk to read and leaves you feeling energized and just a little bit smarter.

$24.95 216 pp. • hardcover     • ISBN 978-1-68401-871-0

Available at bookstores and directly from the publisher, Mascot.

 

 

* * *

Have a wonderful Yuletide…and to all a Good Night!

With Further Ado #88: Nimble Innovation

With Further Ado #88: Nimble Innovation

I wish this was an April’s Fools story, but it is not.

In Mike Gold’s column here on Monday, Brainiac on Banjo, he talked about how comic shops, like so many other businesses, are struggling during the surreal new reality that the Coronavirus has unleashed. It’s a scary time for these entrepreneurs.

But we need to keep business issues and life-threatening issues in perspective.  We’re just a few weeks into it. Public figures are now contracting the virus, and many of us now know real people who have contracted it. I have two friends fighting the good fight against COVID-19 in the hospital right now. One’s outlook is pretty grim, I am afraid.

So my heart aches in so many ways. The prospect of a collapse, or at best a terrible shakeout of Geek Culture is one the scary things of which I am fearful. USA TODAY even noticed. They started a recent article with a look at a fanboy turned retailer in Pennsylvania:

YORK, Pa. – Brian Waltersdorff has been strolling the aisles of Comic Store West in York, Pennsylvania,  since 1986. He was the store’s first customer.

Fast forward 22 years, he found himself buying a portion of ownership into the store. This past January, he bought out his partners for sole ownership of his childhood comic book shop. 

“First-year businesses always have problems. I didn’t think it would happen (here),” he said. “But here we are.” 

Waltersdorff is one of several comic book shop owners across the country who are battling an unprecedented level of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak

The restrictions on movement have been catastrophic for him – as they have for most small business owners. However, the comic book industry is navigating a different sea of change: its main supplier has completely shut down its distribution chain.

 

Comic Shops, have, for the most part, been run and owned by strong-willed entrepreneurs who have financially skated near the edge. Likewise, publishers and companies that create Geek Culture ephemera have done the same.

In that column this past Monday, Mike Gold wrote, “Only a very few publishers are owned by massive mega-corporations such as AT&T, Amazon, and Disney. The rest are owned by very hard working Mom ’n’ Pop cockroach capitalists who depend upon these shops.”

TwoMorrows Publishing wrote candidly about how tough it is to sell magazines when your distributor and retailer outlets are closed.  So they are offering a 40% sale to keep the lights on. Continue reading “With Further Ado #88: Nimble Innovation”